EEN - Quality Engineer

Focus on customer corrective actions and complaints (containment, root cause and corrective action and closure) and their timely response to customer’s quality/warranty. Work with

Interview Tips

Once your resume has done its job and you receive an interview, now is the time to really sell yourself. While it is true that every interview should be an opportunity for two-way dialogue between yourself and a prospective employer, the onus is still on the candidate to make that all-important positive first impression. To better assist you in that regard, here are some fundamental topics to consider:

How should I prepare for an interview?

While a good interview begins with preparation, it also requires practice and performance to be most successful. Prepare by conducting your own research into the organization, through the internet or any obtainable annual reports. Before your interview, make sure you have as thorough an understanding as possible of their product/service offerings. Create a list of pertinent questions you’d like to have answered about the role or company. These will reflect favourably on your candidacy. Questions should be open-ended and designed to encourage dialogue and mutual understanding. Practice by anticipating what kinds of questions you might receive, such as: goals, experience, qualifications and interests, and be ready to discuss them sincerely and succinctly. Predetermine where you are going and allow yourself enough time to arrive 10-15 minutes in advance. If your office is “business casual,” try to dress as conservatively as possible, and avoid wearing strong perfumes or colognes. Display as much confidence and poise as possible during the interview. Greet your interviewer(s) with a firm handshake, and maintain plenty of eye contact in conversation. Rather than reading from your notes, memorize your questions. This will enable you to appear more natural. Once the meeting is concluded, thank your host(s) for their time and express your interest in the position (only if you are, of course). Even if you’re not interested, prepare a “thank you” note that can be delivered or sent the next day by whatever means available (i.e. email, post, courier, etc.) addressed to the individual(s) you met.

What are behaviour-based questions and how should I handle them?

Behaviour-based questions are commonly used to elicit candidate responses to particular past experiences such as: specific challenges, achievements, failures or other situations. Those who favour behaviour-based interviewing realize that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation. While opinions abound as to how to handle these, the general rule is based on the STAR formula (for Situation, Task, Action, and Result). Successful candidates recall good examples, ahead of the interview, and are able to describe a past Situation, articulate the necessary Task and the Action that was taken, while highlighting the end Result.

How long can a typical interview process take to complete?

Depending on the level of position, and the schedules of those involved, an interview process can take several weeks or months. Ask about what stage the process is at, and remain as patient and optimistic as you can, even if it appears to be progressing very slowly. As well, be prepared for various types of testing that may be requested along the way. The most common of these are: psychological, credit and criminal record screenings.

What are things to avoid in an interview?

  • Lying on your resume or during the interview
  • Being late without calling or offering an explanation
  • Appearing disinterested, unprepared or arrogant
  • Having poor personal hygiene or appearance
  • Smelling of cigarette smoke or chewing gum in the meeting
  • Using foul language or speaking negatively about previous employers
  • Being overly interested in money or having unrealistic expectations
  • Bringing family, friends or pets into the interview
  • Acting disrespectfully, immaturely or too informally
  • Not answering questions directly or concisely
  • Appearing unfocused, indecisive or evasive
  • Making statements or claiming achievements you cannot substantiate
  • Being unable to clearly express or sell yourself
  • Being unaware of your own background and experience

When should “salary” be discussed?

Conventional wisdom says don’t bring it up until the question is asked, whether that be what you’re currently earning or expecting. During your preparation, try and determine what salary range or band the position you are interviewing for is paying, and use that as a guideline for your discussion. If salary is not as important to you as gaining experience or working for a specific company, for example, then state your case accordingly, but answer the question nonetheless.

How far can I go in asking questions about the company, role, manager, etc.?

Ask whatever questions are necessary to establish whether the company itself, your potential role within it, and the people you will be working with, are in-line with your current personal and professional goals. Inquiring about future growth plans with the organization or position, or about why the job is open and for how long, are legitimate to your being interested. Remember, we spend more time with our co-workers than our spouses or partners, so ask enough questions to make a well-informed decision before accepting any position.

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